kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
This morning was filled up with quite a bit of household tasks and chores, so to take a break I made a batch of banana nut bread. Mostly this was motivated by having plenty of leftover bananas that were overripe and about to go bad anyways -- double bonus!

Banana Nut Bread )

Ridiculously easy to make and cook, smells fantastic, and my loaf is just about to come out of the oven. Of course, I did neglect to properly grease the pan before I put in the dough, so no doubt it'll end up a bit stuck to the pan -- learning experience for next time!
kitchenklutz: (fresh baked bread)
I've got a great new cookbook that I picked up on the discount table some time back -- The Best Ever Book of Bread, by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shatter. Given my desire to learn how to bake a lot more, I thought it an excellent investment, and as I've been looking it over the past week or so it definitely looks like it's worth it.

I've been paging through it and dog-earing recipes that look like they're particularly worthwhile, and the first one I tried out was Monkey Bread. )

Rising time: 1 - 2 hours
Total prep time: 2 - 2.5 hours
Cook time: 35 - 40 minutes

Overall, I was pleased with the resulting monkey bread. (Side note: no one, even Wikipedia, seems to know where this name originated! Lots of theories, though.) It was sweet, sticky and tasty, with any number of chunks easily torn off for finger food. The coating-bits that popped free were incredibly delectable in and of themselves!

However, regardless of the tastiness of the coating the dough itself was a bit on the dry side and was a bit plain. I may end up adding a little more water and milk to the initial dough to aim for a moister end product, and perhaps a little additional sugar to the starting dough to get it sweeter.

Additionally, given my desire to use less in the way of throwaway materials in my cooking and baking, I'm curious to know what alternatives there might be to using plastic wrap/plastic bags during the rising process. I know I've heard of some just draping a damp kitchen towel over the top of the bowl/pan -- how has that worked for others?
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
I've been doing a lot of cooking and experimentation since around Thanksgiving, but with the holidays I haven't had as much chance to update this journal. Today, hopefully, that gets corrected.

I've been making a good number of different recipes gotten from Penzey's spices, and one that I tried out for the first time over the holidays was Holiday Cookie Balls. )

Reasonably easy to make, these confections are a little bit sweet and a little bit savory. I thought that the dough was maybe a little too crumbly, rather than chewy, but perhaps that's something I can work on if I tinker with it more in the future.
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
Recently, I asked an acquaintance for baking requests. I like baking (if that hadn't already been abundantly clear *grin* ) and I'm always curious to find out new recipes and new ways of putting things together. So when she suggested brownies with walnuts and chocolate chips in them, I started looking around for new recipes to try out. After all, just grabbing a box of instant brownie mix off the market shelf isn't any kind of cooking challenge!

Fortunately, I'd bought a handful of Ghiradelli baking chocolate bars a while back, and on the back of the foil wrapping was a recipe for brownies. I adapted it slightly, and this is what I came up with.

Ghiradelli Classic Brownies (Walnut Remix) )

My batch just got finished baking, so I haven't tasted the finished product yet -- but the batter alone tasted absolutely amazing!

Aaaaand... wow. They're light and fluffy, with an incredibly rich chocolate flavor and very subtle spices. I'll definitely be making more of these in the future. (This recipe makes the brownies turn out rather cake-like in texture -- for a fudgier, denser brownie I'd recommend omitting the baking powder or substituing baking soda instead.)
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
OK, so I'm on a bit of a chocolate baking roll. I did a broad Google search for recipes involving chocolate, and one of the recipes I stumbled over was one for rum raisin chocolate chip morsels. However, as it went for an entirely non-gluten/organic angle (the ingredients of which could be rather difficult to easily get one's hands on) I modified the original recipe substantially. Nonetheless, for what was basically a lot of improvisation off of my past experience, these cookies turned out uniquely and surprisingly tasty.

Rum Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies )

Moist, subtle, and with a definite rum kick, these were one of the tastier recipes I've experimented with all year. This recipe is definitely going into my book as one to make again -- it's worth it!
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
Again going with a recipe from Emeril's Potluck, I went for just a snack this time -- today's earlier experiment with Sausage-Stuffed Bread was enormously filling. This time, I decided to go for a starter, and despite the recipe not turning out quite how I think it was supposed to I was fairly well-satisfied with the recipe on p. 37 -- Spiced Nuts. )

Overall, a pretty tasty snack -- if you can get your fingers on some of the nuts which are well-coated or enveloped by the spiced brown sugar. However, it felt to me as though there wasn't quite enough of the sugar-binder to really make an almost cookie-like treat. What I got was yummy enough to warrant a second try, though -- maybe with more sugar/spices?
kitchenklutz: cookie sheet (cookie sheet)
A while back, I took a recipe that was on the back of a Nestle white chocolate chip morsels package and tweaked it a bit with some varied spices (my holy trinity is cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves). The end result, which I'm actually quite proud of, is my White Chip Spice Island Cookies. )

They always turn out delightfully tasty, with some intriguing hints of spice and flavor that somehow always leave me pleasantly surprised.

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kitchenklutz

March 2015

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